Helping Students Earn an Affordable Degree: A Year in Review at StraighterLine

Helping Students Earn an Affordable Degree: A Year in Review at StraighterLine

3 minute read

BALTIMORE, MD (December 22, 2021) – As 2021 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all that StraighterLine students and the team that support them have accomplished this year.  “2021 continued to be a challenging year for students. The pandemic has taken a toll on students across the nation when it comes to finances, work, and family lives, but our students have stayed the course, and we are proud of their accomplishments,” said Burck Smith, founder and CEO of StraighterLine. “Likewise, we remain committed to helping them battle the rising costs of college tuition, while offering them the student support they need to succeed.”

More than 40,000 students enrolled in tens of thousands of StraighterLine courses in 2021. Below is a breakdown of their interests and accomplishments:

  • 97% of students who successfully passed their courses, passed on their first attempt
  • College Algebra was the most popular course among all students, with Anatomy and Physiology I ranking second among most popular courses
  • 28% of students enrolled in Health Science courses
  • 17% of students enrolled in Social Science courses
  • 15% of students enrolled in Mathematics courses
  • 13% of students enrolled in Business courses

In 2021, StraighterLine supported students in the following areas:

  • More than 35,000 transcripts sent for free
  • Nearly 100,000 essays/submissions graded
  • More than 67,000 Student Support Interactions (calls and online chats)

StraighterLine worked hard to build its relationships with colleges and universities in 2021, resulting in a total of more than 150 academic partnerships. Some of our partner highlights include:

  • Partnering with Rio Salado College to launch Readiness Academy for students looking to restart their degrees
  • Launching a new Academy to guarantee admission for incoming students at Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Joining forces with Fort Hays State University to help stop-out students
  • Launching a new partner website to provide tailored solutions for colleges and universities
  • Partnering with to provide online tutoring services for StraighterLine students
  • Releasing the StraighterLine and UPCEA research study on disengaged learners to help colleges and universities understand stop-out student populations
  • StraighterLine gave back in 2021, to its students, staff, and community in multiple ways including:

    • Donating $8,400 to National Digital Inclusion Alliance in support of increasing digital access for students 
    • Giving two $500 scholarships to students to help students with childcare
    • Surprising four students with a gourmet Thanksgiving feast for their friends and families
    • Establishing an internal Culture Committee to better serve employee needs and create a positive remote work environment
    • Creating a Student Advisory Council to better understand and meet the needs of StraighterLine students

“StraighterLine is positioned for exciting growth in the coming year, and we look forward to continuing to help students save time and money while earning their degrees,” said Burck Smith. “The success of this past year was made possible thanks to our amazing academic partners, our dedicated team, and the thousands of students who continue to take our courses. We are grateful for each of them and are excited for what 2022 will bring.”

About StraighterLine StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 40,000 new students a year, including directly through the website as well as through the company’s growing network of university and employer relationships. Visit or for more information.

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